Understand Parties Involved

Understanding the Parties Who Could Be Involved in a Trucking Accident

A trucking accident is different from a typical passenger vehicle accident. Usually,

Car Crash Accident On Street

 trucking accidents are marked by the catastrophic damage they cause and involve multiple parties.

According to Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), in 2015 alone 4,311 large buses and trucks were involved in fatal crashes, recording an 8% increase from 2014. Between 2009 and 2015, there was a 20% increase in truck accidents overall. Other vital statistics for 2014-15 are:

  • Total number of large trucks involved in fatal crashes rose from 3,749 in 2014 to 4,050 in 2015.
  • The number of large trucks involved in injury crashes decreased by about 1 percent, from 88,000 to 87,000.
  • Total number of large trucks involved in property damage only decreased to 342,000 from 346,000.
  • The number of buses involved in fatal crashes increased from 236 to 261 (11%).

So it is paramount to understand who is potentially involved in an accident involving commercial trucks and the role they may play. An experienced lawyer specializing in truck accident cases can guide you to determine which party involved in the accident bears the maximum responsibility. Identifying all parties is a complicated task for most people and this is why a legal pro is required here.

Parties Involved

  • All parties involved in a commercial truck’s creation and operations must unanimously ensure its safety and security. Such parties include the vehicle’s manufacturer and its parts such as the engine, tires, brakes, etc.
  • Loader or shipper of the cargo to be carried by the truck.
  • The truck’s owner.
  • The company leasing the truck from its actual owner.
  • Truck driver.

Typically, most lawsuits start with the truck driver being put in the legal crosshairs first. However, it has to be proven that the driver was driving recklessly or erratically, the cargo being carried was improperly secured or loose, or the truck’s brakes failed due to a mechanical problem, and so on for example.

It is compulsory for the truck driver to hold a proper license to drive a commercial vehicle. This is available only after completing the necessary formalities set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

Accident Causation

Accidents happen for a number of reasons. The main ones are:

  • Substance abuse by drivers when operating commercial vehicles such as alcohol and drugs. In fact, federal regulations stipulate that trucking companies must test all drivers for drug or alcohol use before they are hired. Drivers, moreover, are required to undergo random alcohol and drug tests while on duty or after an accident. Refusal to take the test may result in immediate dismissal or penalty. Should the driver test positive for an alcohol concentration of over .04, he can be held liable for any accident caused by his vehicle.
  • Driver fatigue is yet another factor that may be the reason behind an accident. Federal law states that for 60 hours of driving, a driver should be allowed to rest for 34 hours before he resumes operations again. Should driver fatigue be suspected as the cause of the accident, the driver’s log book has to be carefully examined to determine if he was overworked and hence, fatigued.
  • Driver error, vehicle, or equipment failure and defective tires and brakes are largely responsible for truck accidents. If defective brakes and/or tires are found to be responsible, the brake and tire manufacturer, the truck’s lessee, and also the owner-operator responsible for brake and tire maintenance, may be held responsible as well. They can all be put in the legal crosshairs.

Further Vital Information

The trucking company becomes liable if it is proven that the brakes were tampered with or were inadequately maintained. Moreover, if recalled tires caused the accident, the manufacturer of such may be held responsible too. It is also the trucking company’s responsibility to carry out periodic tire inspections to ensure quality performance. If they do not do this, this can be a legal strike against them.

The liability of the trucking company comes into play when the driver is its regular employee and not employed by an independent contractor, the vehicle is under the company’s direct control, and they dictate the means and manner in which the driver’s duties are performed.

The company’s liability also increases if it fails to comply with all maintenance requirements, approved vehicle parts, and inspection deadlines required by federal regulators for any commercial vehicle it owns. On the other hand, if the truck is leased, then the onus lies with the leasing company for maintaining the truck and making sure it has satisfied all inspections according to FMSCA regulations.

The number of parties involved in any truck accident can make it difficult to determine who is liable. This is why you need legal help to fight through this mess and to make sure all accountable parties are written up in this lawsuit. Nothing needs to fall through the legal cracks!

Take Action Now

If you or someone you know has been involved in a truck accident and would like to file a suit against the offenders, get in touch with Miller Kory Rowe LLP at (602) 461-8640 for a free phone consultation. We will guide you through the entire process and ensure confidentiality.

Awards & Recognition

  • Nursing Home Top 10 Trial Lawyers
  • Expertise.com
  • National Trial Lawyers Top 100
  • Arizona Trial Lawyers Association
  • Super Lawyers
  • American Association for Justice
  • Legal Leaders - Top Rated Lawyers
  • Arizona's Finest Lawyers Foundation

real client TESTIMONIALS

  • You won’t find a better law firm!

    “You won’t find a better law firm! I have known Kory for more than 20 years and his dedication and work ethic are second to none.”

  • Handled with Professionalism, Pride and Respect

    “We researched a few law offices that would handled a delicate case in behalf of our beloved mother. From our initial meeting to the final, the experience was handled with professionalism, pride and respectful. We couldn’t have gone to a better law firm to handle our case. I highly recommend this law firm for any of your love ones with a wrongful death. We can now bring closure to the care center in this case, however, closure in loosing my mother in such matter will take time for healing. Thanks to Jeff, Gab, Lorraine, Lupe, and the rest of the staff for caring.”

  • It is a very prestigious office

    “It is a very prestigious office not only for the quality of the work but for the humility of each one of its attorneys, that their passion is to serve every one of their clients as a family member. The office in general does everything that is in their hands to assist in the best way possible every single individual that comes in through the doors of Miller Kory Rowe LLP.”

  • Dedicated Advocate for His Clients

    “He is an excellent lawyer and a dedicated advocate for his clients. He has the highest degree of fairness and integrity towards clients, colleagues, and opposing counsel.”

  • Highly recommended from their peers

    “I was referred to Miller Kory Rowe LLP after the sudden loss of my Mom. It says a lot when you are refereed to a different Lawyer because they are so highly recommended from their peers. It was great comfort to have Gabe and his Team of spectacular people with support and going to extra mile for my Brother and I in such a stressful time in our lives. No matter what complications that happen with our case they did an amazing job. The case settled out of court in our favor which meant the World to me vs. the pain of a trial.”

why choose us?

  • Decades of Experience
    At Miller Kory Rowe LLP, our attorneys have more than 60 years of combined experience helping individuals injured by the negligence of others. We are dedicated to getting our clients the settlements they deserve to help them restore their livelihood and peace of mind.
  • Dedicated Trial Attorneys
    With every case we pursue, our trial attorneys have three foundational beliefs: Dedicated. Aggressive. Principled.
  • Extensive Resources
    When you work with our law firm we put all of our extensive resources into finding evidence, interviewing witnesses, and navigating through the complexities and challenges that each claim presents.

  • Please enter your first name.
  • Please enter your last name.
  • Please enter your phone number.
    This isn't a valid phone number.
  • Please enter your email address.
    This isn't a valid email address.
  • Please make a selection.
  • Please enter a message.